Amazon to Launch Android Device for Games and Entertainment

Amazon is expected to launch a new sub-$300 games and entertainment device this year that runs Android. To compete with the likes of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, the product — the name of which has yet to be announced — is said to stream and download games, music, movies and television content. Key to the device’s success is its price point, on par with Amazon’s Kindle and Kindle Fire HD, which are priced comparatively lower than Apple’s iPad. Continue reading Amazon to Launch Android Device for Games and Entertainment

VIPE: New Virtual Holodeck System Used for Training Simulation

The Army Contracting Command is looking into new technology for effective training methods. Northrop Grumman believes it has a solution with its Virtual Immersive Portable Environment (VIPE) Holodeck technology. The VIPE Holodeck is a 360-degree virtual training system that allows users to participate in simulations, mission rehearsal and data visualization. The technology works by using a Kinect integration navigation sensor, which allows users to feel immersed in the environment. Continue reading VIPE: New Virtual Holodeck System Used for Training Simulation

Gaming Community Twitch More Than Doubles Audience Size

Twitch, the live streaming service and popular community for gamers, recently announced that it reached 45 million unique viewers per month in 2013, up from 20 million the previous year. Twitch also noted in its year-end report that its viewing minutes doubled last year to 12 billion per month. Since its debut in 2011, Twitch has become the go-to streaming platform online for casual and pro gamers, thanks in part to the rising popularity of eSports titles. Continue reading Gaming Community Twitch More Than Doubles Audience Size

ETC Presents the 2014 CES Final Report: Executive Summary

During the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, held January 6-10 in Las Vegas, ETC tracked the keynote addresses, evolving industry trends and product demos relevant to our member companies. More than 105 original stories and a regularly updated Flickr stream were made available on ETCentric and via daily email alerts. We’ve prepared an excerpt of the Executive Summary from ETC’s CES Final Report, a document which is prepared as an exclusive benefit for ETC’s Gold and Platinum members. Continue reading ETC Presents the 2014 CES Final Report: Executive Summary

Some Question Stealth Marketing Approach for the Xbox One

While the distinction between paid advertising and editorial content online can sometimes seem blurred, it was recently suggested that Microsoft was paying Machinima partners to post videos featuring the Xbox One. Machinima’s UK community manager revealed in a tweet (that is now deleted) that video partners were receiving an additional $3 per thousand views for videos featuring the Xbox One. In a related story, Electronic Arts is said to be taking a similar approach with its Ronku program. Continue reading Some Question Stealth Marketing Approach for the Xbox One

Phablets Poised to Become Multibillion Dollar Market by 2018

Phablets — smartphones with screens larger than 5.5 inches — could grow to become a multibillion dollar market in the coming years. Initially ridiculed by some analysts, the ‘phone-tablets’ are experiencing unexpected success with consumers in global regions such as East Asia. Juniper Research forecasts phablet shipments will increase by 100 million units over the next four years (20 million shipped last year). By 2018, Juniper expects manufacturers to ship 120 million units per year. Continue reading Phablets Poised to Become Multibillion Dollar Market by 2018

Amazon Dedicates Resources to Draw Mobile Game Developers

While it is unclear if Amazon will release an Android-based gaming device besides the Kindle tablet, the company has been creating tools aimed at making game developers successful across Amazon’s various app platforms. The company launched its updated portal for app and game developers, and has been investing in tools for developers to create more Android games. Amazon now features more than 100,000 apps in its Android Appstore, a significant increase from one year ago. Continue reading Amazon Dedicates Resources to Draw Mobile Game Developers

Nintendo Exec Predicts Significant Loss as Wii Sales Struggle

Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo, says the company is experiencing its biggest loss in revenue in the last 12 years. The forecasted annual loss of 25 billion yen (or $240 million) was a surprise, and the video game manufacturer is considering a new business model because of the low demand for its Wii U. Nintendo’s previous estimation of profit was closer to 55 billion yen. But the altered forecast for Wii U sales was cut from 9 million to 2.8 million units. Continue reading Nintendo Exec Predicts Significant Loss as Wii Sales Struggle

Game Sales Fall in December, Despite New Console Releases

Millions of game consoles were sold in December, but the weak sales of game software came as a surprise. This has raised a troubling question about the health of the gaming industry. NPD Group reports that sales of new games at retail shops fell 17 percent to $1.31 billion while hardware sales rose 28 percent to $1.37 billion. The lean software sales have come despite the successful launch of new consoles from Microsoft and Sony, that sold in record numbers after release. Continue reading Game Sales Fall in December, Despite New Console Releases

Valve Says There are Now 75 Million Worldwide Steam Users

Following a strong showing at CES last week, Valve kicked off its 2-day Steam Dev Days conference in Seattle (Jan. 15-16) with the announcement that the online gaming platform now has 75 million users, a 15 percent increase from numbers released in October. Global sales for 2013 were strongest in North America and Western Europe. Steam Dev Days is an invite-only event, and the first of its kind for Valve, where 1,200 developers and publishers gathered to discuss the new Steam Machines. Continue reading Valve Says There are Now 75 Million Worldwide Steam Users

Engadget Announces the Best of CES 2014 Awards Winners

As official partner to the Consumer Electronics Association, senior editors from Engadget selected finalists for this year’s Best of CES awards. At the end of the week, they had selected winners across 13 categories, in addition to a ‘Best of the Best’ winner — the Oculus Rift ‘Crystal Cove’ prototype. Engadget also announced that the People’s Choice Award went to Razer for its first wearable device, the Nabu, which registered nearly 50 percent of the more than 54,000 reader votes. Continue reading Engadget Announces the Best of CES 2014 Awards Winners

Changing the Way We Game: Virtual Reality with Oculus Rift

The focal point of the virtual reality renaissance, the Oculus Rift, is edging closer to its consumer release. The company was at the 2014 CES showing off the latest update to its ever-improving 3D head-mounted display with a prototype codenamed Crystal Cove. The new device improves the frame rate and image persistence of its two screens to reduce motion blur. ETC was on-hand to test out the latest VR experience and talk to the company’s young founder, Palmer Luckey. Continue reading Changing the Way We Game: Virtual Reality with Oculus Rift

CES Microcosm: Sony Press Events Focus on End-to-End 4K

It began Monday night with a low cost 4K camcorder, new 4K TVs and a 4K streaming partnership with Netflix, all announced during Sony’s press reveal. But CEO Kaz Hirai kept the news coming during his 2014 International CES keynote Tuesday morning, as Sony introduced new cloud-based streaming TV and gaming services. These events clearly helped set the tone for a show that was dominated by every aspect of the 4K pipeline, especially TVs, and somewhat surprisingly, streaming services. Continue reading CES Microcosm: Sony Press Events Focus on End-to-End 4K

Are TV Trends Distractions from Content Delivery Problems?

Curved screens, 4K displays and other impressive television technologies have been making a splash at this year’s CES, but some experts claim they’re not fooled by the latest developments, saying TV innovation is “stuck in a rut.” Last year, 3D was all the rage, but that has all but disappeared from the mainstream, and some say these advancements are mere distractions from the fact that watching our favorite channels and shows can be a hassle. Continue reading Are TV Trends Distractions from Content Delivery Problems?

Home Entertainment: Sony Demos 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector

At CES this week, Sony announced the development of a 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector that has the ability to cast a 4K Ultra HD image up to 147-inches diagonally. Housed in an attractive credenza with built-in speakers, no special wiring is required. The unit is simply placed against a bare wall and the image is then “thrown” directly above it, as opposed to across the room. Expected to launch in the U.S. by summer of 2014, a prototype was demonstrated at the Sony booth. Continue reading Home Entertainment: Sony Demos 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector

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